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Compaq Contura Aero Frequently Asked Questions
Section - 3.3.4 Windows 98

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[C] Date: Sun, 18 Jul 1999 20:22:18 -0700
From: "Striegel, Alan"
Subject: Upgrade to Windows 98

     This note is to offer some quick impressions and a caution or two to
anyone considering Windows 98 for their Aero.

     Yesterday evening I installed a different hard drive in my Aero 4/33c
(first time I had the system apart).  A friend had given me an 8xx Mbyte
hard disk that already had a bootable image of Windows 98 on it, so instead
of just wiping it out I let it boot.

     The system went out and found just about everything on the Aero and
installed some drivers completely automatically.  What it installed wasn't
perfectly right and I didn't keep it for long enough to test it completely,
but some things that weren't right are:

o  Something interfered with the battery gauge -- it always came up with 5
completely white boxes, no matter whether it was on AC or battery.

o  The floppy diskette drive did not work - whether hot-plugged or present
at boot.  The controller was recognized, and it showed no conflicts but
every time I tried to access it the O/S reported "drive not ready".  I did
not take the time to try copying the Compaq driver that was supposed to
correct the problem with Windows 95.

     Rebooting was surprisingly quick -- about on par with Windows 95.  This
is only a 12 Mbyte RAM system, so that was pretty good.  Some of the speed
may have been due to the IBM hard disk being quicker than the old Quantum
250 MByte drive.

     But the biggest negative -- SIZE.  Without installing any applications,
Windows 98 took over 400 MBytes of the disk.  Yes, it already included the
Outlook Express and Internet Explorer applications, but that's still a lot.

[C] Date: Thu, 06 Aug 1998 17:41:03 -0400

Organization: Ancient Illuminated Seers of Bavaria
Subject: Re: Win 98 no like my Aero !

Win98 expects a dx cpu (fpu) *AND* a 66Mhz min.
Only with fpu emulator w98 not install itself.

I have installed W98 moving the hd on a desktop and re-moving on the Aero
after install.               

I've been running Win98 since the beta2 release. My advice, don't
install it on your Aero.

First of all, it WILL NOT install in anything at or below a DX33 machine
(even desktop).
Secondly, it's somewhat bloated with all the IE4 stuff.
Third, Win95b with all updated drivers is just as "good".
Fourth, Win95b runs faster on my desktop (K5-133) than Win98.
Fifth, even though it's harder to install on an Aero, OS/2 is better
suited for "low end" 486's.

Hope this assists you on your decision... Good luck...

J Panetta

[C] From: "Stephen J Gadsby" <>
Date: Wed, 29 Jul 1998 13:47:59 -0400  

   Early betas of Win98 did not make the same hardware checks during
installation. By beta 3, the Win98 installer aborted on the Aero with
a message that Windows 98 requires a FPU. (Interestingly, Microsoft
didn't remove the installation notes on the Win98 Aero floppy driver
until well after the CPU check stopped allowing Win98 beta to
install on the Aero.)

   As far as I can see, the chances of getting Windows 98 to run on
the Aero are slim. The best solution would be the mythical
AMD 486DX5-133 upgrade if it existed. Sadly, it seems Corporate
Upgrades either never managed to work out the hardware problems or
they simply desided the market wasn't there for an expensive upgrade
for the Aero.                                                         

   The most viable alternative might be to pull the harddrive out
of the Aero, install it in a desktop machine, and install Win98
there. Then, wipe all the System Devices and a number of other
devices from Device Manager and drop things like video down to
compatible low levels. Then pull the drive back out of the
desktop and reinstall it in the Aero. You'd want the necessary
parts of the Win98 install CD in an Option directory or
something like that. Hopefully, Win98 would boot and detect
the devices on the Aero. It would be basically the same
procedure as a motherboard upgrade on a desktop machine. It
might even work if the Win98 installer is the only software
that checks CPU requirements.      

   The power management in Win98 does seem to work pretty well.
Of course, it really doesn't seem that much different from late
versions of Win95 OSR2, so I'm not sure the upgrade to Win98 is
worth it just for that.

   I don't know about PC-Card services, since I only run Win98
on a couple desktop machines without PC-Card sockets. Maybe
the upgrade would have some advantages there.

   The slowest machine on which I am running Windows 98 right
now is a AMD 486DX5-133 desktop with 20MB of RAM. It's
horribly slow, though FAT32 and a lack of RAM may have
something to do with it. My wife doesn't mind too much, but I
can't stand using that machine. I can't imagine how slow
Windows 98 would be on the Aero, and I think that might
be staying something since I happily ran Windows 95 on a
386DX-40 with 8MB of RAM for about a year.

   I would recommend finding a late version of Win95 OSR2 and
installing that on the Aero instead of Win98, but that is, of
course, only my opinion. If anyone is determined enough to       
get the final version of Win98 installed on the Aero, I'd
love to hear about it.

Good luck.

   -Stephen J Gadsby             

[C] From: Philip Wilk
Date: 20 Aug 1998

I have been told that the beta version of Win97 and the aero work very
well together. There is also the added bonus in the fact that NT and Win97
use the same device drivers and the power management has been enhanced. I
have also heard that Win98 is a processor pig and runs even slower than

Unfortunately, the commercial release of Win98 will not allow an install
on the Aero because it checks the processors and the aero is only a 25 MHz
SLC while a 66 MHz and a math coprocessor are required. You can get around
this check by installing onto a different machine and then either coping
an image to the aero or physically relocating the drive to the aero.

[C] From: John David Steffes <>
Date: Wed, 4 Jun 1997 13:22:32 -0400

I beta tested Memphis (Windows 97/98) and use FAT32 on the volume you must 
still have a 16 bit fat for the hibernation file (~30M). I also tested
OSR2 and OSR2.1 please let me know if I can help in any way. JDS

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